On the 10th of March, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) and Vickar Automotive Group are pleased to announce the first recipients of their joint scholarship fund for First Nation students.
“I have often stated that education is a key driver for creating lasting and positive change within our southern First Nation communities,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “I am proud to stand alongside Larry Vickar whose leadership and commitment to reconciliation, are on full display with this initiative.
The Vickar Automotive Group Southern Chiefs’ Organization Educational Scholarship is awarded annually to a student attending Yellowquill College and a student attending the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT). The scholarship recipients must be a member of one of SCO’s 34 member Nations. The recipients must also be active in their community, either contributing to their school community or the community-at-large.
The inaugural recipient from MITT is Sabrina French-Laroque. Sabrina is a student in MITT’s Hospitality Management program and a member of the Roseau River First Nation.
“Receiving the scholarship means a lot to me,” said French-Laroque. “I was able to buy last minute textbooks and off-set my living expenses with the funds. Now I can focus on school and concentrate fully on my studies. I want to thank the Southern Chiefs’ Organization and Vickar Automotive Group for the support that I was given during this incredibly hard and historic time, from the bottom of my heart.”
Meanwhile the inaugural Yellowquill College student who will benefit from the fund is Collette Courchene from Sagkeeng Anicinabe First Nation.
“Being a student can make it very hard to get by with monthly expenses,” stated Courchene. “This scholarship not only helps me pay my bills, it encourages me to keep up with my studies. I look forward to graduating in June 2022 with a diploma in First Nations Management and Administration. I would like thank Southern Chiefs’ Organization and the Vickar Automotive Group for their generous scholarship.”
The scholarships are endowed, which means the funds are invested and earn annual interest which will provide the funding for the scholarships, each and every year.
“There is no question, the key to closing so many systemic gaps for our youth is through access to education,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “Every time we elevate even just one of our youth, we then pave the way for even more success and positive outcomes for our people and their communities.”
Individuals can contribute to the fund by visiting: https://www.mycharitytools.com/gift/wpgfdn/donate?fund=1208